After a delightful Christmas brunch at a friend’s place we took the camera complete with the 1.4 tele converter attached and went to the inlet. I rarely use manual focus because I find it quite difficult with my eyesight, but with the tele converter on I have no choice, so practice is a must and that is what this trip was all about. I was curious to see just how different it would be distance wise too when photographing the birds.We explored a different part of the reserve yesterday and saw a different range of birds along with lots of damselflies. I saw a shining cuckoo sitting on the flax and while I got a shot of it, it’s hidden behind branches and is just to prove to myself that it is what I saw. I will go back there in the hope of getting a clear shot next time. I am not sure if they are territorial but if they are then I know where to look.The yellow hammer was a great model for me and just sat there watching me getting closer and closer. Unfortunately I was shooting into the sun so most of the images are blown out. It was a manual focus practice day after all so I am not that concerned, I wasn’t looking for perfection. I did manage to get some really close shots of it though, most of them in focus.I managed to get in really close to the spur-winged plovers but there were grasses in the way so the shots are not clear. I have kept them because I like that you can see the spurs very clearly. I am going to enjoy practicing with this new toy! I want to get the manual focus thing sorted before my trip away next month.